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All In With Chris Hayes

News/Business. (2013)

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Us 10, Obama 6, Alabama 5, Iran 5, United States 4, Obama Administration 4, New York 4, Cgi 3, Rosa 3, Mississippi 3, Robert Reich 3, Butler 2, Bezos 2, Johnson 2, Josh Barrow 2, Texas 2, Chris Murphy 2, Wyoming 2, Msnbc 2, America 2,
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  MSNBC    All In With Chris Hayes    News/Business.  (2013)  

    December 3, 2013
    12:00 - 1:01am PST  

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that republican committee weren't sure it was happening, but they knew it was sure good stuff to start up a little religious war out there. they would love this stuff over in baghdad, wouldn't they? and that's "hardball" for now. thanks for being with us. "all in with chris hayes" starts right now. good evening from new york. i'm chris hayes. americans are back at work after a long holiday weekend, which means they are also back at their computers. and today that means two things, shopping and health care. >> let's talk cyber monday! >> it is cyber monday! >> cyber monday. >> yes, it is cyber monday. >> cyber monday. >> cyber monday. >> it's expected to be a record-breaking day. >> in case you missed, it, it's cyber monday, a hallowed american tradition in which millions flock online to hastily purchase discounted goods for their nearest and dearest. and while the lure of free
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shipping has preoccupied the masses, another big web event happened today, the relaunch of healthcare.gov day two. it marks the official restart of the obama care era and the day the window finally closed for good for republicans trying to kill the thing. from the day obama was elected president, republicans have been determined to block health care reform. they got scott brown elected. they took the law all the way to the supreme court, voted dozens of times to defund or repeal it, shut down the government for 16 days, and obama care survived all of it. irony is that while republicans couldn't kill obama care, the administration almost could. >> good evening. president obama now finds himself compared to president george w. bush, as in the problems with the health care plan have become president obama's katrina. >> but today, the website is now fixed enough that it looks like
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obama care is really here to stay. the repeal strategy is dead and obama care is out of the icu. according to the administration, the error message rate for the front end of the website is less than 1%. that's down from about 6% last month. the site can now handle 50,000 users at a time, 800,000 per day. keep in mind, at one point, the site could handle only about 1,000 users at a time. >> this website is and will function effectively for the vast majority of users. >> not only is the website functioning better, enrollment is up, too. over 100,000 people have successfully selected plans in the federal exchange in november alone, up from the nearly 27,000 who did so in october. during the first few weeks of november, california's same exchange enrolled more people in private plans than they did for the entire month of october. and in new york, over 33,000 people enrolled through the state's exchange in november, double the just over 16,000
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people enrolled last month. on this cyber monday, as the country goes about its cyber business, healthcare.gov lives in cyberspace. joining me now, congressman hakim jefferies, democrat from new york. congressman, who will are you feeling today, back in session with the website relaunched? do you feel at all burned by what happened two months ago? and are you tentative about embracing the fact that this is fixed now? >> well, i'm certainly cautiously optimistic and do believe that the remixed version of healthcare.gov will be in a better place than the original version that came out on october 1st. i think the administration has done a tremendous job by focusing the effort to make sure that a lot of the glitches are repaired in a meaningful way. well over 90% of efficiency at this point as it relates to the website, whereas we were down below 50% efficiency when it was first launched. the response time has been
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reduced. the number of people who can simultaneously get on the website at the same time has been increased significantly. these are all positive steps in the right direction. now, the republican obsession with the affordable care act is legendary, as you've indicated more than 40 times voting to delay, defund or destroy it, shut down the government, cost the american taxpayer $24 billion in lost economic productivity as a result of this obsession. hopefully, though, given the successful relaunch, we'll be in a place where we can move forward collectively toward insuring tens of millions of additional americans get health care. >> i hate to break it to you, congressman, and far be it for me to tell you what your colleagues are going to do, but that seems unlikely to me. in fact, i'm curious where you think the next attacks are going to come. and we've seen them hammering the website, they moved past that, hammering plan cancellations. they're moving past that now. what do you anticipate is the next chapter of this?
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>> i think latest line of attacks seems to be this strand of thinking that the affordable care act represents a redistribution of wealth in some way, shape or form. we saw that rolled out as talking points over the weekend, and to some extent, we can expect that that may continue. i don't believe that that really is going anywhere, and it's a debate that we should actually embrace. >> that's right. >> the republican plan as it relates to health care put forth in the paul ryan budget would end medicare as we know it and cut $810 billion from medicaid, effectively ending medicaid as a meaningful program for the american people. they have no alternative as it relates to providing health insurance to otherwise uninsured americans. our plan as put forth through the affordable care act is to meaningfully try and fix a broken system. that's a debate that we as democrats should embrace. >> congressman hakeem jeffries of new york, thank you. clay johnson is with the
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department for better technology, a presidential innovation fellow. he's been the person i have been following most closely in analyzing the website. so, clay, looking at the website today, hearing the administration's updates yesterday, what's your sense of how far things have come and what does it tell us about how bad things were? >> well, it's a great deal of relief to me that the website seems to be up and operational. i tried it out earlier. i'm on the individual market as a small business owner, and so, i have to shop for my own health insurance, so i got a bit through it today. i'm just glad that the preposterous debate that the affordable care act should be judged by healthcare.gov -- i mean, healthcare.gov's problems was an acquisition and procurement problem, not a health care problem. it's not like when we had butterfly ballot problems in florida, we decided to revert to monarchy. and we shouldn't, you know, sort
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of judge a health care policy based on, you know, what a website does. but for the ma part, i'm happy with where things are right now. >> here's what's interesting to me, with the website, the first day there was all this attention paid to it and the site was down and it was very hard from outside the black box to get a sense, is this website really broken or is this being hyped unnecessarily? and one of the things i found interesting about reading through what the administration's saying is, oh, yeah, it really, really was broken. a bar graph showing stability for the website, past 90%, which we should note is far below what most commercial sites have, around 99% at the lowest, but it was at 42% at the beginning of november. >> right. >> they have really, really, really turned this thing around. >> yeah. i mean, they put a lot of great people on top of it, greg ger ashman, a presidential innovation fellow with me, a lot of folks from google, they did a great job in taking this and turning the boat around.
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the interesting thing, though, is that why weren't those people there from the get-go? we spent $600 million and put hundreds of bodies on this thing and then we were able to basically scrap the site and rebuild it from scratch in a matter of two months? why didn't we just do that from the start? >> that is a really good question. what is the answer to that question? >> i think it's about procurement. i think it's about the way that government hires contractors is inherently broken, and the only way that we can really get talent in is if it's basically 100% of the focus of the executive branch and the president of the united states. that's the only way that we manage to get talent in, technical talent in to do this. >> so, for you, what's the big lesson learned from the healthcare.gov launch chapter of this story, not from a policy perspective, from a government text perspective, which is something that's going to become increasingly vital and central to what governments do? >> well, you know, i think the lesson learned is that it's time
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for us to really fix procurement and the way that government delivers technology to the public. you know, government doesn't scale unless it adopts new technology. we wouldn't be able to elect people or talk with people if we, you know, didn't adopt television and radio as mediums, and it's time for us to really take a look at technology and say, look, this technology thing isn't going away. it's not a fad, and we need to really incorporate it and internalize it into the government. we need a digital first strategy, which means the government's got to get really good at hiring contractors and talent on the inside to implement this stuff. >> are there going to be repercussions? obviously, there have been repercussions for the obama administration, just look at their polling numbers and approval, massive political repercussions. do you think there will be repercussions for cgi, for example, the chief contractor on this project? >> sadly, no, i don't think there will be. you know, the federal government isn't very good at managing accountability with its contractors, and generally, when you have a marketplace that's as dysfunctional as the procurement marketplace, i wouldn't be surprised if cgi federal
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continues to win contracts. i wouldn't hire them to build my website, but unfortunately, i think the way that the procurement system works now, cgi can do things like sue itself into winning the contract, when the federal government has to select say the lowest bidder and cgi is that lowest bidder, they'll win the bid. >> this will be an interesting story to follow in the future as this plays out. clay johnson from the department of better technology, thank you. joining me is dr. kavita batel, senior adviser to valerie jarrett in the obama administration, a fellow at the brookings institution. how are you feeling today? >> oh, a lot better than about a month ago, chris. >> well, you hit it well when i talked to you. you brought optimism and cheer to me when i was letting some of the panic get to me. what do you think this means? how big a deal is today? >> so, it's a big deal for all the reasons you've outlined, but going back to even why i was optimistic a month ago, as you covered it, in california and in
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other states, like kentucky, even despite this horrific website kind of rollout, it was working in places. so, i think that today is important. i don't think we should kind of say, all right, you know, hands up, we're done. >> nope. >> i think we still have -- let's be honest, we've got to make sure that we can get to december 23rd, which is, like, the last day possible to get people started on coverage on january 1st. and that's why people on the ground in the united states that are actually doing kind of the outreach and enrollment, i mean, they're honestly our heroes right now. >> there are two parts of covering the uninsured under the affordable care act, a law you were intimately involved in crafting and watching be implemented. about half the people get covered through healthcare.gov and the insurance exchange marketplace. about half through medicaid expansion, where you're getting more news on the latter front. wyoming governor matt mead say he is not going to recommend on friday that wyoming extend medicaid coverage. that becomes the 25th state, i
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believe, all with republican governors. can i ask you a question that i haven't been able to figure out, and maybe this betrays my own ignorance? what happens to the people who would have qualified for the medicaid expansion in these states? can they get on the exchange? will the subsidies reach down to their income level to cover them? what happens to them? >> they can. so, you know, above 100% of the federal poverty level, the subsidies would apply. and then under that -- it's in states like texas where there is going to be a gap between what the medicaid program currently covers and that 100%. and so, there is, unfortunately, going to be -- you know, we talk about a donut hole in the medicare part-d program. we're going to have an unfortunate, undesirable doughnut hole of people who couldn't get access to coverage. just so you know, there's a lot of thinking behind the scenes of how to fill that gap, but at the end of the day, if a governor or state doesn't want to go forward, there's only so much you can do. >> zoom in here, though. okay, i'm someone in texas.
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texas is not going to expand medicaid. >> right. >> i make 110% of the federal poverty line, would have qualified for the expansion. so, i go to the health insurance exchange when healthcare.gov is working. i'm going to buy this plan for my family. >> right. >> i'm going to get the subsidies, but the point is that that may not get me to anything actually affordable on my salary. >> well, it should be, because remember, the affordability gets pegged to the federal poverty level. so, you will find that it's more affordable. and is it just as affordable as a medicaid plan would be? probably not. these are all going to be more expensive than a medicaid plan would be, so that's the unfortunate part. but it should be something where someone is not so burdened that they would not want to get it. >> that they're left out. >> right. >> going forward -- i mean, the big thing i think in the last few months, overriding story have been healthcare.gov and the plan cancellations. i think the plan cancellations were elevated because the media boosted the story but also because the website was not working so people didn't know
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their options. in the next month, what are you looking for that are the signals of the implementation of the law? >> i'm looking for what the insurance plans have sent around, the misinformation they're receiving in terms of data -- wrong social security numbers, processing and kind of the back end of what we get when we actually get our health insurance cards. >> right. >> that's going to be a huge deal. and on january 1st, looking towards january 1st, i'm looking forwards -- just remember all those seniors on medicare part-d that showed up in pharmacies and said wait, i've got coverage for prescriptions, and then the pharmacy's like, we don't have you in the system. so, this next month, i'm looking for the ability to meet the december 23rd deadline, then what is it that people are going to get back in the mail and what are they getting in return for all those forms and online pages that they filled out. >> that is really, really, really useful. we will keep our eyes that. dr. kavita patel from the brookings institution. thank you so much.
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coming up, the senate has managed to achieve bipartisan consensus on one thing -- wrecking the historic intranuclear agreement the obama administration reached with iran. more on that ahead. she loves a lot of the same things you do. it's what you love about her. but your erectile dysfunction - that could be a question of blood flow. cialis tadalafil for daily use helps you be ready anytime the moment's right. you can be more confident in your ability to be ready. and the same cialis is the only daily ed tablet approved to treat ed and symptoms of bph, like needing to go frequently or urgently. tell your doctor about all your medical conditions and medications, and ask if your heart is healthy enough for sexual activity. do not take cialis if you take nitrates for chest pain, as this may cause an unsafe drop in blood pressure. do not drink alcohol in excess with cialis. side effects may include headache, upset stomach, delayed backache or muscle ache. to avoid long-term injury, seek immediate medical help for an erection lasting more than 4 hours. if you have any sudden decrease or loss in hearing or vision, or if you have any allergic reactions such as rash, hives,
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so, obama care. it's been a few months, long enough for many of you to have your very own experience with it. we've reported on the numbers, debunked or upheld the horror stories. we want to hear straight from you. tonight's question -- have you tried to sign up for obama care? what's been your experience with healthcare.gov? tweet allinwithchris or post at facebook.com/allinwithchris. i'll share a couple.
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well, remember that before the holidays, president obama announced the most significant diplomatic breakthrough between the united states and iran in over 30 years. but there are powerful, extreme forces working to scuttle the deal, powerful, extreme forces known as the united states senate and the nefarious armies of bipartisan compromise. the interim six-month deal with iran announced by the president would freeze iran's nuclear program in exchange for a comparatively meager sanctions relief. according to the "washington post," sanctions relief under the interim agreement could be worth about $7 billion over the six-month period. that's compared to the $100 billion in frozen iranian oil revenue that would remain in place, and new sanctions by congress during the six-month period could actually violate the terms of the deal. and yet, a bipartisan group of senior senators are "spending the remaining week of the thanksgiving recess forging agreements on a new sanctions bill." robert menendez says this will
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strengthen the administration's hand. >> i think creating a sanctions regime that is an insurance policy and also creates leverage for us is incredibly important. >> the white house itself that negotiated the deal said, no, it won't help. "if you want to hold our feet to the fire on the final deal, fine, do that," a senior administration said," but that is a separate discussion from passing a sanctions bill in the middle of negotiations. our view is passing sanctions during the life of the negotiations would complicate negotiations in a number of ways." keep in mind, this congress is on track to be the least productive congress ever. needs to reach deals on food stamps and a farm bill and a budget deal by january 15th in order to avoid another government shutdown. and yet, the one thing it looks like they will get together on is sabotaging the most promising chance on a peaceful deal with iran we've had in 30-plus years. senator chris murphy, democrat from connecticut, member of the senate foreign relations
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committee. how do you feel about the push coming out of the senate? >> here's what this boils down to. ultimately, this six-month deal involved pretty minor concessions on both sides. the iranians have simply said that, listen, we are going to freeze any progress with respect to our nuclear program during this time. the americans said, along with the international community, we're going to roll back a very small portion of the sanctions, leaving in place the toughest ones, on the banking and oil sectors. what this is really about is about engaging in some confidence-building, saying listen, we're willing to give on sanctions if you're serious about giving up any ambitions to obtain a nuclear weapon. and the problem with the senate and the house potentially stepping in and putting forth a new round of sanctions is that it starts to nibble away, eat away at that confidence, which has been sorely missing, as you mentioned, for the last 30 years. listen, i am not going to
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prejudge a bill i haven't seen yet, but ultimately, the obama administration has had more success in drawing iran to the table than any administration in my lifetime and i want to allow them the space to complete this deal. >> okay, this is what i would like you to help me understand. i'm looking at this congress that has a hard time getting things done. there's been some amazing bipartisan votes in the senate, comprehensive immigration reform one of them, the enda bill that came out of there, but it's been a tough slog. you've got a few weeks left in the year, and the notion that this is going to be prioritized, there's going to be this push by bipartisan senators to get tougher sanctions on iran when the white house is explicitly saying no to me, that looks -- i just don't understand. is it the case that senators are going home to their states and people are standing up at town halls saying we need stronger sanctions on iran? why is this such a priority? >> listen, you have 47 million americans who have lost food stamp benefits, who are
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potentially going hungry this holiday season, you have farms that are going to shut down some time next year without a farm bill being passed. you're exactly right, there are bigger priorities. now, what my friends on both sides of the aisle will say is that, no, wait, we need to do this right now so that if the negotiations fall apart some time next year, we're right there immediately with tough, new sanctions. well, the fact is, we can pass things quicker than a lot of people give us credit for. >> when you want to. >> we turned around an authorization for the use of force in syria out of the foreign relations committee in about three days after the president requested it. and so, if we need to impose a new round of sanctions at the end of this six-month period of time, i have no doubt that given the bipartisan support that exists on this issue, we'll be able to rally to the cause pretty quickly. >> that's a great point and also gets to another thing i find fascinating about this, which is, congress isn't necessarily covered itself in glory in oversight of war. over the years, i think the long-term trend has been to give more power to the executive. all of a sudden, it seems to get extremely handsy and
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micromanaging when pieces on the -- peace is on the table. i would love to see this level of legislative scrutiny and oversight being directed to the violent deployment of force that is currently being directed to second guessing a diplomatic effort. >> listen, this ultimately is about reselling who america is to the iranian people as well. these are confidence-building measures directed at them, and they are, frankly, rejoicing in the streets because they know that these sanctions have absolutely crippled that economy. and so, what we would risk doing here in implementing a new round of sanctions is not just screwing up the negotiation, but sending a message to the iranian people, who are frankly way more pro-american than people might think -- >> right. >> -- that we aren't really serious about ultimately doing the deal they want. the hard-liners are isolated right now in iran, and we are, frankly, going to empower them if we show up at the table in the middle of these short-term negotiations with a new round of
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sanctions that even though they may take place in the future. this is about building confidence with the negotiators on the iranian side but also the iranian people. >> there's a political dimension to this. one of the polls we have, which is from reuters ipsos, on support for this deal show 2-1 support for it, which i was heartened to see. that doesn't necessarily reflect what i saw necessarily in the pundit class. but there's another moral dimension to this. i've heard a lot of people, along with some of your colleagues and commentators, we've got to keep the sanctions on, press for the sanctions. let's not obfuscate here. the sanctions hurt ordinary iranians. there's no way around it. if you devalue a currency and you destroy a country's economy, ordinary iranians pay the price. is there a level at which some moral threshold is crossed in which it's not just definal anymore? >> well, listen, the sanctions are working, and they're working because, ultimately, the supreme leader understands that if he loses control of this economy, he loses faith and control of
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the street, then his leadership and his clerics' leadership are in jeopardy here. and so, i, frankly, think that if these short-term negotiations fail, it would be appropriate at that point to ratchet up the sanctions, again, because they have been shown to work. the difference really here is not as big as many people would think. i think most of us agree that at some point, we might want to increase the sanctions. the question is, why would you want to do it in the middle of a round of negotiations that right now we all, on both sides of the aisle, want to work? >> senator chris murphy, thank you very much for your time tonight. really appreciate it. >> thanks. okay, coming up -- ♪ well, we're moving on up, moving on up ♪ ♪ to the east side, moving on up ♪ ♪ to a deluxe apartment in the sky, moving on up ♪ >> what "the jeffersons" theme song has to do with a tweet, rosa parks and the republican national committee, next.
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woman named rosa parks refused to move to the back of the bus in montgomery, alabama. you probably know the basics. after working all day, parks boarded bus 2587 and sat in the first row of the colored section. on the front of the bus filled with white passengers, the bus driver ordered parks out of her seat. she refused. the bus driver called police to arrest her. the police report from that day shows that the bus driver
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himself signed the arrest warrant. parks' arrest was the galvanizing moment that kicked off the montgomery bus boycott that began four days later and lasted more than a year. tens of thousands of black commuters stayed off the buses in what was one of the most exceptional exercises in organizational discipline in american history. that led to a supreme court ruling that the segregation on public buses was unconstitutional. yesterday morning, the republican national committee decided to mark the anniversary of parks' action with this tweet -- "today we remember rosa parks' bold stand and her role in ending racism." it was a perfect embodiment of all the pathologies and blind spots the modern gop has when it comes to race. the most obvious component being this little part about parks' "role in ending racism." the rnc later clarified that it was supposed to read "her role in fighting to end racism." someone over there apparently realizing claiming the end of racism is probably a bit too much for a tweet. but the first tweet already had
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spawned a hashtag with. "racism ended when?" when bill clinton played the saxophone on the arsenio hall show. it ended when "the jefferysons" moved on up. racism ended when willis was adopted by richard drummond and racism ended when the iphone was available in black and white. the slip was more than fodder for jokes. it's also why the gop and modern right go to create the santa clausification of rosa parks and martin luther king jr. and other civil rights leaders. they are cast as figures with no history or context, just celebrated as the good guys who fought the forces of evil. consider the 2005 eulogy for parks from bill frist, flagged today. frisk said it was "not an intentional attempt to change a nation but a singular act aimed at restoring the dignity of the individual." and that gets it exactly wrong. rosa parks was an actual human being who was embedded in a
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whole bunch of institutions and organizations that were very much trying to change the nation. she was part of not just the liberal left, but the radical left. she trained at the highlander folk school in tennessee, a legendary leftist training guard regarded as a communist training school by southern segregationist. she was secretary of the montgomery naacp when arrested, an organization with deep roots in the city's trade union movement, which it helped organize her protest. she years earlier helped organize a campaign for young african-americans to borrow books from whites-only libraries. in other words, rosa parks was not some fuzzy teddy bear who had no idea what she was getting into and was just tired after a long day of work. she was a nonviolent warrior who fought as part of what she knew was an army. she was part of an explicitly left movement that was despised and hated by the ruling certain conservative regimes in alabama and the south. everything her life was and amounted to is absolutely anathama to everything this gop stands for institutionally. makes you wonder who they'll be
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sending their rosy tweets about 50 or 60 years from now. and if you don't think this santa clausification idea of racism being in the past doesn't have real consequences, consider this. on the very day back in february, the president and leaders of congress dedicated a statue of the very same rosa parks in the capitol, the supreme court was hearing arguments on gutting the voting rights act that rosa parks had helped bring about. it ended up issuing a decision gutting the key part of that law on what was basically an argument that, yes, racism is over. well, they didn't say it that way. the roberts court just had the good pr sense to not say it in a bluntly mockable fashion. we'll be right back.
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is there anything that would better sum up american capitalism in the 21st century than a drone bringing a cheap consumer good made in china to your door? but the amazon economy means for all of us, coming up. but first, the three awesomest things on the internet
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today. we begin with the shoestring promotion of a little flick you may or may not have heard of. since the announcement of "anchor man 2: the legend continues," they have bp omnipresent, from the ads to the dodge durango to the ben & jerry's scotchy scotch scotch ice cream, will ferrell as ron burgundy has been everywhere to promote the movie, and this weekend to ensure saturation on the plains, he pulled overtime, working a 30-minute newscast for kx news in bismarck, north carolina. >> authorities say a black friday shoplifter in grand forks abandoned a cart full of stolen items and hit a store employee with her car as she sped away from the parking lot. >> along with santa's visit, families can enjoy wagon rides, caroling and s'mores in downtown. meteorologist jared peepenberg lets us know if you'll want the extra facial warmth this weekend. he's in the dakota storm center next!
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jared, how are you? >> good, ron. how about yourself? >> good. last time i saw you, you were a lot heavier. you lost a lot of pounds. >> that's not all. he traveled up to winnipeg, manitoba, where he provided color commentary for team canada's olympic curling trials. >> what can you bring to the curling game? >> well, i think i can bring finally some, i think a certain amount of dignity and class. i know i smell good. >> what does the word winnipeg mean? >> well, it's, of course, latin in its roots, and it means the small tundra bunny who lives inside the hole on the hill. >> stay classy, will. the second awesomest thing on the internet comes from boingboing.net, the sat but riveting ending to the too short life of the comet ison. and if you've got young children, send them out of the room because this tragic death was caught on camera. for about 4 billion years, this
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comet wound around our solar system until this thanksgiving day, when like the nithical itherus from the song, the ison traveled too close to the sun. the ball in the middle is our sun and the white thing is comet ison. it's over, johnny. astronomers say some small chunk of the nuke luis is still out there, but it wouldn't be any bigger than a chihuahua's head. thus, nasa has officially declared the comet dead. rest in peace, you left us too soon. and the third awesomest thing is the shocking reaction to one of the most shocking ends to a football game or any game in recent memory. auburn and alabama were tied at the end of the iron bowl. alabama attended a super long field goal at the end of regulation, instead, they fielded the kick and took it 105 yards to win the game. they upset the number one team in the nation and ended alabama's winning streak. and while there was jubilation and stunned relief, the reaction
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of fans in their homes were equally as emotional. yes, grown men in their pajamas went absolutely nuts for their beloved and victorious tigers. and thankfully, some of them posted the video online. >> go, go! you can run it out! you can run it out! oh, my god! oh, my god! oh, my god! oh, my god! ahhhhh! oh, my god! we did it, boy! we did it! >> i felt the opposite of that when i heard about derrick rose's knee. you can find all the links for tonight's "click 3" at allinwithchris.com.
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you give them the giggles. tylenol cold® helps relieve your worst cold and flu symptoms. but for everything we do, we know you do so much more. tylenol cold®. today, as you might have heard, is cyber monday, a special, special time of year when you're supposed to hop on the internet machine and do some serious shopping. and just in time for the occasion, amazon's jeff bezos managed to land himself a perfectly pitched buzz-inducing profile on "60 minutes." bezos is perhaps trying to take every possible opportunity to tell amazon's story himself, since when other people tell it, some of the details of how amazon conquered the retail world are less than flattering. in "the everything store," we are told bezos is not tethered by conventional thinking. he is bound only by the laws of physics. he can't change those and
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everything else is up for discussion" and that was in full display on "60 minutes" last night, much to the delight of charlie rose. >> oh, my god! >> this -- >> this is? >> these are octocopters. these are effectively drones, but there's no reason why they can't be used as delivery vehicles. >> i have to admit, that does look pretty cool. of course, amazon may or may not ever pull off this drone delivery thing, but here's what amazon is pulling off. amazon right now is doing to big-box retailers, the brick-and-mortar kind, what brick-and-mortars did to small mom-and-pops years ago, moving in and taking over. according to the national retail federation, holiday shoppers did more than 43% of shopping online and online black friday sales were up 50% from last year. say what you will, like walmart, amazon has transformed the retail economy bp pushing costs down and revolutionizing the way goods are delivered, but that
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disruption comes with massive human and economic costs elsewhere. so, the real question is, what does a 21st-century american economy look like when the frictionless delivery of cheap goods is its engine? joining me is jj ramberg, host of msnbc's "your business," airing sundays at 7:30 a.m., josh berra with "business insider" and former secretary of labor in the clinton administration, robert reich, now a professor of public policy at the university of california berkeley and stars in a film called "inequality for all," out in theaters now and will be out on dvd in january. your reaction to the drones, j.j.? >> i mean, mine was wow, right? how could you have any other reaction? whether it will happen, as you said, time will tell. there are lots of regulations that need to be overcome, but you cannot not be amazed by that. >> yes, i agree, it is amazing, but also, it seemed like they're doing something which is essentially trying to play the field early on a big regulatory fight that's going to come down
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about commercial use of drones. senator jay rockefeller is calling a drone hearing. amazon's plans for using drones to deliver packages is just one example of the potential this technology offers consumers, a reflection of the uningenuity of american business." josh. >> i think the drone thing is interesting. i don't know whether this specific thing is going to work. i should disclose by the way, as we do, jeff bezos invests in business insider through his personal investment vehicle. but i think regardless of how it works, rapid delivery is clearly going to change the way retail works. >> that is the thing. the thing everything's looking for in retail right now is same-day delivery. that is going to have this absolutely comprehensive, transformational effect on the entire sector of the economy that is retail. >> yes, it's happening already, obviously, but the irony here is that americans, more and more americans have got jobs in retail. retail has been the fastest
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growing sector of the united states job market since 2009, since the so-called recovery began. those jobs don't pay very much. but as online retailing, amazon and other retailers move online, there are going to be fewer and fewer of these retail jobs. so, the question fundamentally is what are americans going to do? >> yep, the choice is between -- you know, who's going to buy all this stuff from amazon if americans don't have any jobs? >> this is exactly -- i will never forget sitting across from a retired uaw worker who had led a radical faction of a bunch of unionists in detroit, telling me that the big problem for marxist theory of capital is that it didn't deal with robots sufficiently. so, the question is, you know, what happens when the robots take the jobs, the robots being the computers and the drones, the one sector of the economy that's growing right now, the jobs we're making are $9-an-hour retail jobs. we are going to imagine an amazon-like future where those are all gone. what's that look like for consumers and american workers,
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after the break.
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to our facebook and twitter pages, like sam from facebook, who says "signed up yesterday, sunday, the first of december, was finished in 12 minutes, no trouble at all except confusion on my part." and this one says "they are still working on verifying my identity." amanda stone says we are set to save $200 a month starting january 1st. it's amazing. thanks for all that. we'll be right back.
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we're back with jj ramberg, josh barrow and robert reich. j.j., whether the drones materialize or not, i think it's kind of a pr stunt, frankly, but the future of retail is stuff coming to you rather than you going to stuff. >> exactly. you went into the break asking what does it look like, right when we don't have any stores anymore? and i can tell you what it looks
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like, because we've spent the last year on my show going around main street usa and asking small businesses how they're doing. and town after town, what we saw was there were these agricultural, industrial towns, factories moved away, main street kind of disappeared. then it built up, big box stores came in, took all the business and then main street went down again. crime, you know, boarded-up store fronts. and now, the main streets that are doing well are working together to try and market themselves as a whole. come to main street because we are helping our community. it's almost like a tourist destination. >> that's interesting. and one of the things you've seen in the book business, right, which of course is where amazon started, is that amazon is killing off borders and barnes & noble, who are the ones that killed off the independent bookstore. >> exactly. >> and now independent bookstores in some places re-emerge as this kind of boutique option. >> rights. >> they didn't scale, but ha scales is amazon. they've now wiped out barnes & noble and borders, so, like, the ones that can make it are essentially boutique enterprises. >> right. >> but robert, the question is, at scale, what does this look
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like for workers? i mean, when you have reports of what working in a warehouse as a flexible worker for something like amazon looks like, it's brutal, hours are long, there's huge amounts of workplace injury, the pay is very low, you have no fixed schedule. there's two ways to think about the path forward for that. one, those workers get power and they get benefits and they can negotiate on their own behalf, or two, they get replaced with robots. and i think the robots option's more likely, so where does that leave us? >> well, it leaves us with a fundamental question, a fundamental choice, and a lot of it has to do with who gets what in society. i mean, back to those boutique book stores, for example, those are in very high-wage, high, sort of high-income areas. the main streets that are coming back tend to be main streets that are sort of in trendy, again, high-income area. most people in this country are still in the great recession, and they're staying at the great recession because most jobs that are coming back are lousy jobs,
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and less workers have a living wage unless they have the right to unionize and negotiate better working conditions and better pay, we're going to see a downward escalator for most workers. we're going to have boutique book stores and lovely main streets for fewer and fewer number of americans, and most people are going to be consigned to a kind of america that we have not seen in this country since the 1930s. >> josh? >> i'm more optimistic about this. the american economy's been through a ton of transitions like this. like 150 years ago, almost everybody worked in agriculture and you had big shifts in and out of industries. so, if the shift is out of retail, the question is what can come next? and you say the future of retail is stuff coming to you, but that's also kind of the future for the sellers. you have sites where people can market artisanal gooz, jewelry and clothing. some of them were selling before, but some of them weren't selling anywhere. it's creating new business opportunities, so i think we need policies aimed at creating new jobs, especially middle-scale jobs that people can go into as these other
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industries fall away, but in general, these sorts of innovations are a good thing. it's good that it's easier for people to buy and sell things, and in general, in the past, the economy has figured out new things for people to do. >> yes, right, so, there's a thing called the lump of labor fallacy, which is this idea that every time there's a new labor-saving device that no one's going to have jobs anymore and people have been writing about this specter of automations since the 1700s, in fact. >> right. >> but there is worry that automation is getting to a point now where you really do start to encounter a real problem, right? like, how are people -- if you have these frictionless shops of all these interactions commercially or frictionless, like, where are the jobs going to come from? >> well, on main street right now it's tough, right? i mean, he said it before, all of the main streets that are working right now are in these wealthy areas, and the other places, people don't have jobs. the fact is, right now they don't have jobs. and we are in a transition. and with the optimism, the transition will end somewhere, but it doesn't end yet. i think in the middle, you have
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a lot of these low-paying jobs that are created. maybe you sell something on epsy, not for very much, maybe you're on taxgrab or odesk -- >> and that to me is the future, the distopic version of the future is what i would call the butler economy, and what the butler economy looks like is, all the warehouse jobs become robots, right? and the products get flown to you and everything is super efficient, right? and the jobs that are left that involve labor are being yoga instructors, personal cooks, home care nurses and butlers to people with a lot of money. essentially, the thing you can't get rid of it care, and care becomes what the economy does and care is what the economy does for the increasing -- robert, yes. >> now, that's what's happening already. i mean, you have -- as retail jobs, really, the number two major job in the united states since 2009 has been in restaurants. the number three set of jobs has been in hotels and in hospitals, number four. i mean, these are all caring for
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jobs, and who are they caring for? increasingly, they are caring for a smaller and smaller number of people who have the money to actually afford all of these caretakers. so, you have two classes of americans. number one, the people who are really owning all of the shares of stock and who are the wall streeters and a lot of the people who are the heads of cooperations. and then number two, you've got all the people who are taking care of them. they will have jobs, those caretakers, but those caretaking jobs are becoming not only lower paying but also more and more precarious. this is not -- but it doesn't have to be this way. >> right. >> it does not have to be this way. this is not where we necessarily have to go. but we do not have in this country any kind of policy for building good jobs for most people in the future. >> well, if we can train people to fly, and they could actually do the delivery, we may have a new growing labor sector. jj ramberg, host of "your business" sundays at 7:30 a.m., right here on msnbc.
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josh barrow from business insider, robert reich from the university of california berkeley, thank you all. that is "all in" for this evening on this cyber monday. "the rachel maddow show" starts now. good evening, rachel. >> as long as we all move into the manufacturer and retailing of robots, problem solved. see? done! >> problem solved. and cable news. >> yeah, doing that is very important. thank you at home for joining us this very, very important cable news hour. mississippi. mississippi is not only a great state in its own right, mississippi has also for a generation, no, for a century, no, for the entire existence of our country, provided a great service to the rest of this country. number one, mississippi has forever helped american schoolchildren get over their native fear of spelling long words, because m-i, double s-i, double s i-is fun to say. so, you can smell mississippi and then you can spell anything. mississippi also helps us stay patient when we are counting off